A small fire at Maude Moore Wood Elementary School prompted the relocation of students and staff to another campus Thursday morning, and investigators say a young student has been charged with starting the fire deliberately.

Killeen Independent School District Communications Chief Taina Maya reports that smoke alarms sounded on the second floor of Maude Moore Wood Elementary around 9:40 AM. The campus was immediately evacuated, and firefighters located a small fire in an upstairs bathroom that was quickly extinguished.

Killeen police and fire officials say a 10-year-old student confessed to taking matches to school and setting a toilet paper dispenser on fire.

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Maya said the student will be charged with arson and faces discipline from Killeen ISD, including placement in alternative education. Killeen ISD will also be seeking payment for the damages caused by the fire.

After the campus was evacuated, classes resumed at another location.

"Due to the heavy smoke smell in the building, the district made the decision to utilize the new Killeen Elementary school for the remainder of the day," Maya reports. "KISD Transportation mobilized 20 buses to relocate the students and staff to allow Maude Moore Wood to be aired out and properly cleaned."

"Killeen ISD takes matters of school safety very seriously and we will never tolerate this kind of harmful act by a student or anyone else," Maya added.

This could have been a much darker situation if the fire had spread or any students had been trapped or injured, so kudos to the school's staff for getting the kids out safely and our firefighters for getting there so quickly.

If there's a silver lining to this story, it's that students and staff got to take an early tour of Killeen Elementary, which isn't scheduled to officially open until Fall of 2021. It's just a shame the early tour was the result of such a dangerous situation.

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